Grammarly: A Reliable English Proofreader?

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Language proofreadingIt has been only a couple of days since I handed in my PhD thesis (fingers crossed!). As a non-native speaker of English, writing meaningfully was a real challenge for me throughout. Even with the support of a professional English proofreader, most of the time I fell below par in terms of language standards.

This is where Grammarly came to the rescue. One of my friends told me that he is using it and he is able to receive excellent comments on his research publications. So, I thought of giving it a try, and I have not regretted the decision since! In this post, I will walk you through the Grammarly tool and offer you an honest review based on my personal experiences for over two years.

Some basic facts about Grammarly.

  • Name: Grammarly
  • Original authors: Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn
  • Developers: Grammarly Inc.
  • Website URL: www.grammarly.com
  • Initial release: July 1, 2009

 

Grammarly Overview


Grammarly is an advanced English language proofreading software. It can detect errors regarding spelling, grammar, sentence structure, wordiness, punctuation, style and plagiarism. As you can probably imagine, it does more work than the in-built proofreading utilities that come along with the common word processors like MS Word.

Grammarly can be installed in MS Word and web browsers as an extension for FREE. While the premium one for MS Word has obvious perks, the basic free version would be more than enough to compile an error-free document. But, if you are a serious writer, going for premium will be a wise decision.

 

Who is Grammarly for?


Anyone who is looking to create English articles without language errors. Grammarly is especially useful for non-native speakers. But, it can be helpful for almost anyone, despite your nationality, because after all, we all are human!

Click on the following banner to give Grammarly a go…

 

Grammarly Pricing


Grammarly offers two pricing options. Of course, the browser extension is FREE of charge, it is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Click here for more details.

1. Basic MS Word Extension

This one is FREE for the lifetime, as in it is NOT A TRIAL. Even as a basic version, it offers a lot of useful features including critical grammar checks. Honestly, for an article on a website, the basic version will do. But, if you are a non-native speaker, it might be worth it to try the premium version.

2. Grammarly Premium

Grammarly premium prices are as below. I am currently on the yearly plan. After trialling out the premium version for a little while initially, it was a no-brainer for me to switch to the yearly plan.

  • Monthly — $29.95 USD/month.
  • Quarterly Subscription — $19.98/month (billed as one payment of $59.95 USD)
  • Annual Subscription — $11.66/month (billed as one payment of $139.95 USD)

Following is a brief comparison between the FREE and PREMIUM versions:

A Reliable English Proofreader?: Grammarly premium and free plans comparison

 

How it Works?


When you install Grammarly for MS Word, it will be added as a tab in the ribbon area. All you need to do is click on the tab and then select “Open Grammarly”, which will initiate a Grammarly session of proofreading.

I, in fact, first compile my posts on MS Word, check them for mistakes using Grammarly, and then only transfer them to the web platform I use (WordPress).

Have a look at this video to get a gist of the workings of the tool:

What I like about Grammarly premium most is that it offers language support based on the ‘genre’ of writing (for example, the language style used for an academic thesis would be vastly different from that of an article on this website). I can also switch on or off the language checking features as I wish. For example, for some documents, I intentionally turn off the language style checking as I feel it is not required.

The Grammarly browser extension becomes very handy when you write an email or in fact even when you write a Facebook post or a comment. Following is a video of the Grammarly Chrome extension in use.

 

What I Like about Grammarly


Simple interface

Grammarly has a very sleek and a simple interface design that makes it easier for you to navigate freely. It makes the tedious task of proofreading a document far less painful.

Intelligent corrections

When I first started using Grammarly, I was in fact startled with some suggestions it gave me. It can suggest the perfect order for a given phrase. For example, the phrase “DHT is found commonly in processed foods” can be changed to “DHT is commonly found” which flows better. This type of corrections are not done by the in-built proofreading utility in MS Word.

Context-specific corrections

As I have already mentioned, this is the best feature I like about Grammarly. Unfortunately, it is not available in the free version.

Low Price

To be frank, I get a lot of value for just $11 per month through Grammarly. This is a relatively VERY low cost when you compare it with other related software out there. Grammarly, in fact, has become an essential tool in my arsenal, especially as an academic. Now, I even use it to a good effect when I write content for the web also!

 

What I DON’T Like about Grammarly


Unnecessary Corrections

As I always say, nothing is perfect. The most annoying thing for me in Grammarly is unnecessary suggestions, especially regarding the vocabulary enhancements. I have to be frank here, some suggestions are in fact very stupid! Come-on! I may be stupid (well, I am), but not that stupid. So, always use your own judgment before accepting any suggestion made by Grammarly. After all, it is a piece of software, and it is up to us to make the final decision.

Inability to UNDO

Yet another annoying feature of Grammarly. It does not allow you to use the “UNDO” function of the word processor while you are in a middle of the session of Grammarly. I cannot think of any good reason to deny the UNDO function!

 

A Reliable English Proofreader?


All in all, Grammarly has been a lifesaver for me and I am sure you will hugely benefit by using it. In my view, it is more than reliable. Can it replace a professional English proofreader? No! (not yet at least). Please let me know of your experience of using it…

 

SleekEarner Rankings:


Learning: (4.7 / 5)
Features: (4.6 / 5)
Navigation: (4.7 / 5)
Support: (4.5 / 5)
Price: (4.9 / 5)
OVERALL: (4.7 / 5)

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